Donald Trump and Nigel Farage celebrate in Trump Tower, New York, November 2016
UPDATE, NOV 8:
I updated the Trump-Johnson-Farage story in a Friday interview with Monocle 24’s Georgina Godwin:
Trump said there will not be a US-UK trade agreement, which Boris Johnson has trumpeted as a salvation after we get Brexit, if there is a deal with the European Union.
The next day Nigel Farage said Johnson is selling Britain down the river with the deal.
UPDATE, NOV 2:
Dr Matthew Cole, of EA and the University of Birmingham spoke with BBC West Midlands on Friday afternoon about Nigel Farage’s maneuvers, assisted by Donald Trump.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: I spoke with BBC outlets throughout Friday about Donald Trump’s intervention in the UK General Election, trying to boost Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and undermining the ruling Conservative Party of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
How did this come about? Well, Donald Trump’s camp have always wanted a hard or No Deal Brexit. To get this, they plotted since July 2018 with Johnson’s backers to get Boris into 10 Downing Street.
But Trump is also a big fan of the Brexit Party leader, who went to the US to boost the Trump campaign when it was flagging in summer 2016. As a result, Farage — rather than Prime Minister Theresa May — was the first UK politician to visit Trump Tower after Trump’s surprise victory.
So the vision of Trump’s camp is a Farage with power in Whitehall and even in Johnson’s Cabinet. Which brings us to last night’s Trump phone call to Farage’s London radio show, boosting Nigel and trashing the Prime Minister’s proposed hard Brexit deal with the European Union.
Trump is aligning with Farage’s demand that Boris Johnson not put any deal with the EU as part of an election manifesto, and indeed commit to a No Deal.
How do Boris Johnson and the people around him react to this? Do they in effect concede to Trump’s wishes and try to work with Farage? Or do they defy Trump with Trump saying, “If you don’t do want I want, you won’t get that magical US-UK trade deal after Brexit”?